The Good – Here we have a 5$ Xbox Live Arcade exclusive. A prologue to Dead Rising 2, is it worth it? Depends, sure it’s cheap…but as with the original game, it’s a ton of fun if you ‘get’ it. Quick rundown on what DR is about…..KILLING ZOMBIES. In every way shape and form. This download takes place right before Dead Rising 2, you’re stuck in a small town with a zombie outbreak, trying to get your sick daughter out of there. Along the way you’ll come across other survivors that you’ll help out and whatnot. The core of the gameplay, find weapons, which are all over the place, and kill kill kill. You can tie items together to make new weapons, each kill stacking up PP (prestige points)….XP if you want a better understanding of it, all to level up. Doing so makes you more powerful, shows you more weapons combos, makes you faster, etc. The game probably takes a couple hours or so to get through, but a Dead Rising staple, it’s not meant to be played through just once. You level, do this and that, restart your story carrying over your level progress and become more badass. So I wound up getting more like 6 hours out of the game….so yes, it was definitely worth it to me as I had a ton of fun with it. 8/10
The Bad – Right off the bat, I’ll say the gameplay can feel a little clunky. There’s a cheesiness to the presentation, not necessarily bad, but don’t expect serious, scary stuff. The graphics are good, but textures up close a little booty…..but really, it’s a 1GB downloadable game so it’s understandable. Gameplay can get repetitive if you don’t switch up weapons.
The Ugly – Blood and gore baby!
The last Halo game to be made by Halo’s creators, Bungie. Now that’s not to say there won’t be anymore Halo games, Microsoft owns that franchise and will milk it for what it’s worth. They just don’t own Bungie anymore and those guys are ready for something new. They even say goodbye to the franchise and thank the fans in the credits. Do they go out with a bang? Hellz yes they do! Currently sitting with a well deserved 92 on metacritic, I’m gonna go with a solid 9/10. I’ll be talking about single player mode of course. I might go a little longer than usual with this one 😉
The Good – First off, I gotta mention some technical stuff here. The thing I noticed when I 1st booted it up, was how fast it loaded, in comparison to pt. 3 and ODST of course. Those games were painful to boot up if they weren’t in your cache or whatever those guys did. It’s just smooth how quick I’m able to get up and going when I turn it on. Second, that new graphics engine….man, it’s sweet. Halo 3 & ODST were some really good looking games, but IMO, there was something about them, maybe the way they meshed with everything else….just felt, I dunno, out of date. Especially when you look at the Gears games. Now I wouldn’t say Reach looks as good as a Gears, but it holds it’s own with it’s own style, and pushes the fact that we don’t need new gen consoles just yet. Even the cutscenes are all in game, done way better than in the past, all keeping a fluidity to the presentation. Detail is definitely improved, and colors have a more realistic tone to them. There are times when you’re on a cliff, you look over and there’s war going on in the distance, it really gives an epic feel to the situation.
With Halo, or any other game for that matter, you come for the presentation, then stay for the gameplay. Yeah son, it delivers big time. If you’re a long time Halo fan, then you’ll feel right at home. Bungie took the ‘if ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ approach for the most part, like usual. Though they did add some improvements. Riding the Warthog feels so much smoother than it did before. Since you don’t dual wield in this one, they put the reload button back on X, and they put melee on the RB, which feels just right. Grenade switching with the B button is a little weird though. Honestly, I don’t miss dual wielding, the lack of it worked fine in ODST and here as well. Sneaking up on foes and holding melee provides a damn satisfying stealth kill with a knife. And as with any new Halo game, some new weapons are thrown in for good measure. As m’man Jamie mentioned in his previous post, the weapons list is ridiculous, so I’ll just highlight a few that I really liked. The concussion rifle, the covenant’s answer to a grenade launcher, makes short work of anything in it’s path, it makes me feel safe when I have it. The plasma repeater, I’ve always loved the plasma gun, this is sort of bigger brother to it, unfortunately it became a bit ineffective towards the end for me, but I’ll get to that later. There’s a few more goodies there too. Throughout the campaign, I felt they mixed up the selection pretty well, so I was able to get a good feel to most of the weapons this time around. It kept the action fresh for me.
The power ups. What. an. improvement. Seriously, they introduced these in Halo 3, problem was, they were weird icons where I didn’t know what did what. I dunno if I’m alone on this one, but I pretty much didn’t use them cuz in the heat of battle, I don’t have time to figure out what the apple core looking thing does. Here, it’s all money. Huge color specific icons when you go to pick them up, that show a pic of what the soldier does. If it’s fast running, there’s a dude running, if it’s armor, there’s a dude crouching in a huddle position, if it’s a jetpack….well, you get the idea. Speaking of jetpacks, how can you not love those things. There’s an awesome strategy thrown in, in which the powers are for a limited time, but do recharge quickly. Which means you can’t just fly through the whole level, but it gets you to some spots easier than just running up there, or my favorite, in the heat of battle. I can’t tell you how many times a Brute would come rushing at me with his 1-hit kill hammer, I would boost away, shooting while looking down, screaming at the TV as he keeled over. It’s pretty awesome. No matter how you cut it or slice it, this is Halo 4 with a prequel story. This one definitely has my favorite gameplay and fighting out of all the Halo games. And it’s definitely the best Halo package well worth the 60 bux I’ll put down on it. Sorry, I really dug ODST, but it was an EXPANSION to Halo 3 that should’ve been cheaper, they lied and charged full price. But anyways, I can go on all day about how cool it was to do this, or do that, but the gushing has to come to end folks. Time to touch up on what I feel are some of the flaws.
The Bad – As with most games, I like to play on normal mode, for I feel this is how I think the developer wanted the player to experience their creation the first time through. A solid challenge is what makes a game fun to play to me….do you know what doesn’t make it fun? When that challenge becomes ball-punching abuse. Reach’s campaign is crazy awesome fun, then at the last couple levels, things get knocked a little out of balance as you’ll get to areas where you’re too overwhelmed with enemies. You’ll get to sections with Hunters where instead of a fun battle, they’re just a pain in the ass cuz you’ll die so much, yes I know they were always toughies, but you will unload MANY clips. Some of the elites come flying through with frickin almost invincible armor. Maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but when I have to reload more than twice, and their shields still aren’t down, it gets annoying. I know it’s supposed to be the last hurrah and all that good stuff, but there’s other ways of making a battle feel epic without just making enemies too strong.
There’s a space ship flying section…..which is actually pretty cool, but there are times there, restarting a checkpoint for a 6th time, just pissed me the hell off. I felt the game took maybe an hour or so to really get going, I mean, I’m all excited when I 1st fire it up…..then I sit there like, ok, it’s Halo….basically, some of the new stuff could’ve been introduced a little quicker. The story, ah yes…..titanic syndrome, since much has been made about the book Reach is based on, we know the planet goes down in the end. So no surprises there…..while the cutscenes look awesome, again, maybe I’m alone in this, but I can’t tell you what the hell just happened…they didn’t exactly engage me, it’s like, ok, get me to the next level. They shoulda brought some of that cool storytelling style from ODST over. Some of the new weapons aren’t really given a chance to flesh out their potential to gameplay…..how many times did we get to use the target locator? Halo’s own hammer of dawn, once I think?
The Ugly – There are some dark moments in this one….when you first come back to the planet after the covenant has ravished everything….buildings burning in the background, bodies all over the place, it’s a creepy site. Either that or I ran out of steam and didn’t know what to put in this section 😉
Also on Xbox360 and PS3. I played it on PC cuz I’ve got a pretty sweet rig and the graphics on this bad boy look way better than the console versions. I give it a 7/10. A high 7 though, I wanna give it an 8, but the flaws are just a touch too heavy.
The Good – If you dig your games with a heavy Godfather/Goodfellas flavor, here you have it. A fully realized, nicely detailed world set in a 40s-50s New York like city. You play as Vito, a guy just out of the war and ready to work his way up in the mob world since “the working man is a sucker”. The gameplay is very much like a GTA, 3rd person everything, on foot, driving, that sort of thing. You take on missions of that type of variety as well…..drive so-n-so here and there, go kill this guy, go rob this place, and so on. It’s not the most original, but the gameplay overall is just fun enough to make you wanna finish the storyline.
The storyline is the star of this show, and the way it’s told as well. Heavy cut scenes before and after every mission, it’s all interesting stuff. It’s almost like an interactive movie, the dialog and voice acting are all up to snuff. If you like the way the Sopranos characters talk, you’ll be at home here. Presentation and whatnot are all top notch, radio stations in the cars play music of the time, all good stuff, and the game’s orchestral score kept me in the feel of things. Some missions have a bit of branching, meaning you can go about completing stuff in different ways.
The Bad – Sadly, there’s plenty of that here….first off, this may not be a bad thing to some people, but the game is painfully linear. Here you have a huge open world, highly detailed and all that good stuff….but….you really only have your missions to worry about. You wake up, go here, do that, go back home to finish the chapter then wake up to do it all over again. No real side activities, no doing things out of order, etc. While the shooting action can be fun, sometimes there’s just way too much of it, and you better take cover, because if you don’t, you will die….ALOT. That’s not fun. Way too much driving…..I love my driving in games, and I get it when it comes to open world games, but c’mon. When there’s really nothing to do between point A and B, driving sections should be short. Oh yeah, checkpoints, during big shootouts, blow.
The Ugly – Aww man, the ending. It is pretty unfulfilling….you would think with the cinematic quality of everything, the end would be epic. Instead of going out with a bang, it’s more of a fart :-\
Did I enjoy this unnecessary sequel to the beloved Bioshock? Well….yes, yes I did. Also available on PS3 and PC, gonna roll with an 8/10 for this bad boy.
The Good – Ok, the originality of Bioshock’s story and setting have been done to death, in review form I mean. Get at the wiki if you wanna have an idea of what you’re jumping into and how the first one ended. It was one of the better gaming ‘experiences’ out there that I’ve had and it will always be a classic to me. The sequel basically gives you more of the same, with some refinements of course.
Set 10 years after the events of the first game, this is a different story involving a different character. You play as a Big Daddy prototype, the splicers are still running around acting crazy, and someone has decided to keep the Little Sister program going. The creepy, but cute buggers who go around extracting ‘Adam’ from dead bodies, the stuff that makes it possible for you to have crazy powers (plasmids) such as shooting electricity or fire from your hand. Some improvements see you utilizing both plasmids and guns at the same time….yeah, go look it up, part 1 had you split-seconding between the two instead of simultaneously shooting them. Yup, I forgot that too. Standard issue, new guns, updated guns, same with the plasmids. Some new enemies include Brutes, basically super roided up versions of the splicers, splicers being your basic enemies, luckily you only see Brutes once in awhile cuz they’re tough. You got different versions of Big Daddy’s….and probably the star of the pre-release trailers, the Big Sisters. Think the Big Daddy, but female, slender, and able to move and jump around like a ninja.
Some more improvements, such as the hacking of stations and security bots, still a small challenge, but way better than playing a ‘switch the tile’ mini game. Getting near the end holds some really cool surprises…remember in part 1, where you had to find a Big Daddy suit and walk in his shoes? Think of the surprise along those lines, but better I think. Of course you get to explore more of Rapture, which is still an awesome and interesting world with damn sweet graphics and sound. And if you’re an exploring type gamer like me, this game will keep you busy for HOURS. It really scratches the ‘loot whore’ itch that other titles like Oblivion and Fallout 3 do. At the end of the day, I enjoyed the game as a whole and got my money’s worth.
The Bad – A major audio glitch. It only reared it’s head a couple times….but the last time was really bad. Example, when you start kickin up dust and that orchestral music kicks in letting you know that shit’s on? And when the objective is clear the music is supposed to die down? Well, in one level it never died down….it got damn annoying, I was always on edge for no reason. The second time it happened I’ll save for the ‘Ugly’ portion here.
The game took a few hours to really get me hooked, when you start, it really feels just more of the same, and again, unnecessary. Once you get over that hump it does come into it’s own though. An issue I had with the original is here but amplified. Basically, when you feel like the game is about to end, you’re ready to cap this bad boy off, but you still go for another couple hours….it did that more than once to me.
The Ugly – That audio glitch I mentioned? Well, the second it happened was at the very last level…an alarm is going off like crazy….I finally finish, ending cut scene plays and all that good stuff…….all the while, THE ALARM IS STILL GOING OFF.
The Good – It’s a side scrolling game, in which you’re a little boy looking for your sister in the woods…..but only in the beginning. What follows are a countless series of puzzles to get through to the end. No two are the same, it gets very challenging, but it’s never impossible. I didn’t even have to look up anything online 😉 It’s somewhat reminicent of Braid, another downloadable game that I freakin’ loved. But that’s where the comparison stops, for the most part, there’s no time bending mechanics here. The graphics look incredible, totally out of the ordinary, there’s no color, it’s all shadows, lights, and out of focus grainy stuff that resembles a really old film. It doesn’t look like a game and it pulls it off perfectly. The atmosphere can be unnerving and creepy, most puzzles involve traps that kill you unexpectedly, so you will jump a lot. It bugged me out a bit here and there. And the ending, I can’t explain, but not since Half-Life 2: Episode 2, and Braid where a game’s ending had such a huge emotional effect on me. But LIMBO’s different, the ending will probably affect people in different ways and everybody will have their own interpretation of what happened in the “story”. Air quotes, cuz you are told nothing, the bit I wrote at the start, I only knew cuz that’s what the description said before downloading. This is one awesomely unique game that everyone should try. 10/10
The Bad – As I mentioned, you’ll die a lot. As in many trial and errors. I really don’t think it was all that bad, but I gotta mention it in case it would turn some gamers off.
The Ugly – The numerous ways that the little boy gets killed. Good thing you only ever see a black sillouhette of him, cuz it can be pretty gory.
The Good – Having written some impressions on this awhile back, I hope you guys don’t mind me repeating some stuff(aka copy-paste). It’s basically GTA set in the old west. Here we have a living breathing world, walk around the town and you get to see all the stuff that used to go down back in those days. From the cool, to the mundane. It follows the typical mission structure, instead of cars, you ride horses though(durr). And a ton of mini games that just drapes you in it’s atmosphere. You wanna break in horses? Check. Herd cattle? Yup. Hunt and sell the animal pelts? Get out the knife. Have a drink and/or gamble at the saloon? Why not. There is a TON of things to do.
What keeps you coming back is the awesome storyline. That and the atmosphere….the game is gorgeous, detailed, and sometimes you just wanna ride around enjoying the world, breathing it in. Top notch voice acting, entertaining cutscenes, and music I want the soundtrack for, creates a pretty unique package. It really earns that ‘mature’ rating, sure there’s violence, bad language and the like. But it’s not gratuitous about it. Not that I mind that, but it’s refreshing that the main character is about his business…he turns down offers left and right for debauchery, but he’s got a family he has to return to. And revenge….sweet sweet revenge.
What’s also great about it? You can probably get through the main storyline in less than 20hrs. I loved GTA IV, but the main story was just a bit too long, you almost forget what the goal was by the end of that one. Not here….and man, does it do something I think most games(even the great ones) miss out on. The climax/end, is spectacular, ballsy, and will leave you thinking about it for awhile. Highly recommended, and deserves a 9/10 from me.
The Bad – Typical Rockstar stuff….controls can be a little janky sometimes. On foot shooting close up sucks, and it’s tough to switch weapons in time in a pinch. Edge of your seat action isn’t always at the forefront….things are a little more subdued here. I don’t think it’s bad at all…but I’ve heard a person or two mention it being boring at the beginning.
The Ugly – There are just some really effed up characters in the old west. I know it’s fiction, but I bet some of this stuff wasn’t too out of place back in those days for some people. Cannibalism, grave robbing, and hints at necrophilia are just a few things…….come to think of it, that stuff definitely exists today, UGLY! :-\
I was only gonna throw up an impressions of this. But at 30+ stars in, I think I’ve spent enough time on it to decide if it’s worth owning and therefore giving it a score. Heck, I’ve never finished Galaxy 1, but once I got my initial cluster of stars, I slowed down and only play once in a blue. I’m only at 51 stars in pt.1 and still love it as much as the day I picked it up. Galaxy deuce gets a 9/10 from me.
The Good – Everything you loved about Galaxy 1, is back and in most cases, better. This is 3D Mario platforming at it’s finest. Take the best parts of Mario 64, Sunshine, Galaxy 1…..and just take it a notch up. Seriously, there is so much to do in this game, it feels fresh every time I pick it up. Tons of power ups, tons of level themes, etc etc, brought together in such a cohesive way that numerous times I sat there and said, that is just awesome game design. Most of the time the control is as tight as can be, where I got kinda annoyed at the Wiimote control in the 1st game(only sometimes), they do a lot here that makes sense and it’s almost second nature while I’m playing.
Graphics….damn, why can’t every Wii game look like this, there’s something about colorful graphics with smart art direction that is so pleasing to the eye. Silky smooth framerate, new renditions of classic tunes, it’s all good here. Levels are huge, with smart checkpoints strewn about. Even some side scrolling style stuff, it just plays beautifully. Maybe alcohol’s affecting my memory, but I don’t remember the 1st game doing that. Yoshi! They also do the ol skool level map, which works and I like, I wasn’t a fan of the 1st game’s hub where you had to seek out where to go next…when you don’t play it for months on end, that gets annoying to have to search for the next level after coming back to it. Auto saves when you finish a level. Basically, if you have a Wii, then you should have this game too.
The Bad – Okay…we’ve said it before and we’ll continue to say it….water levels. So far, there hasn’t been alot of stuff where I had to go deep, and they’re not the worst levels ever or anything. But C’mon Son! You change the way I do things that feels like a step backwards for a brief moment, takes me out of the moment. It’s rare, but sometimes, say on the big tree slide(you’ll know when you get there), my last second jumps won’t register, which is mad frustrating. The fireflower power up, why’s it timed?? The jalapeno power up for Yoshi, makes him run fast….sorry, but an out of control Yoshi has never been fun.
The Ugly – Another thing we’ve said before and we’ll continue with…..this game is gorgeous, but good gawd….if the jaggies were cleaned up and shown in HD? Would be glorious. Seriously, to quote the guy on this week’s Giant Bombcast, even with the same assets. The graphics would just jump off the screen.
Nothing new to see here, move along. It’s boring mmo talk which no one with a “cool” social life really wants to talk about anyways. I’m talking about Warhammer Online developed by Mythic. I mention Mythic because nerdboys tend to have developer hate. I’m included in that statement. Anyhow, I found out about this game a long long ways ago because of everyone’s constant complaining about “wow is too ez” and theres this shiny new game that BE A WOW KILLER. Of course the curious cat in me decided to see what’s up. By seeing what’s up it means I read about 10 minutes of actual words on a page and about 5 minutes of youtubing gameplay. It looks cool but looks like wow is what I said. And I already played wow. And had insane amounts of time invested in said game. I am also aware of the whole backstory of warcraft being a warhammer game initially and that’s a cool story too but whatever onto the gameplay because that’s where it’s at.
I started with a ORC choppa, ironically named “crakta” because you know..i’m back on the crack. ahhhhhhh. Anyone familiar with World of Warcraft will notice the standard questing structure. It goes like this you’re dropped into a zone, say hi to someone who tells you to talk to another person, and then you have to kill 10 of those things to HELP OUT THE WAR EFFORT. I make the last words in caps because from then on out you really do feel like you’re walking into the middle of a giant war. Lots of npc’s running off into a fight, screaming and destruction all around. It’s quite cool. The graphics is something that totally jumps out at you at first too, everything is built for a good but not bleeding edge gaming rig. Now, I only use a 8800 which is by no means bleeding edge but it’s a pretty good card even 3 years later. The animations are pretty cool for the choppa too. There’s an attack where you are to wildly swing in all directions and…it really looks like I’m swinging wildly in all directions. WOO. Sounds fun right? Well..to me it was. Don’t Laugh.
The public quests are a pretty cool mechanic as well. There are a group of people who all take part in killing x amount of villagers, and killing a boss guy. You all get a reward based on the amount of help you provided. The rewards weren’t ground breaking but it did help build my set of gear considering there were no basic weapon vendors around (complaint).
This is marked as a half a GBU game review because I only got through to level 5 after about 2 hours of game play (i’m slow ok!) so therefore my total warhammer experience is not really there or correct for me to pass judgement. So, I’ll end it with this my few hours of gameplay were really enjoyable, the pace was appropriate for me, and should be a game I’ll enjoy up to level 10. I say level 10 because i’m not paying a sub fee for a game right now. Screw that. But I’ll be back later WHO. I’ll be back.
Right off the bat, I didn’t play the first game. So I can’t really compare, just mention differences I’ve heard. And two, this is one of my favorite games of the year so far. How much so? 10/10
The Good – From what I’ve read/heard/etc., everything that was wrong with the first game, is fixed here. Very simply, I found this game to be a ton of fun. So much that after I exhausted the 360 version, I started on the PC version, and I’m enjoying it all over again. Ok ok, enough with the gushing. It’s a sci-fi action rpg.
In classic Bioware form, you create a character, choose a class, then fall into a story backed by a deep story, dialog system, and in this game, real time action that I’ve compared to a lite version of Gears of War. Third person shooter action with a cover system, plus powers that are cool, numerous, and of course upgradeable. There’s an insane amount of missions, most of which are fun, and with the dialog system, determines if you’re a nice guy or a hard ass. You usually roll around with a squad of 2 other characters, who also are bad ass gun wielders with awesome powers. This combo makes for some deep action, yet it’s simple to get into.
The guys you recruit are all interesting, have their own good story, and all bring something different to the table. The graphics are damn nice, they keep a smooth framerate almost all the time with some gorgeous detail too. Sound design and music are also up there. Good surround sound and mostly good voice acting. All that with the tight gameplay makes for an awesome, highly recommended package.
The Bad – One of the optional things you can do in the game, mining, can be a slow, boring, grinding process. More so on the 360, you scan a planet while moving a cursor(probe) across the surface trying to get minerals so you can upgrade ship parts, weapons, etc. It’s incredibly slow and boring, but you don’t have to do it. It’s just that the ship upgrades can significantly alter the outcome of the game. The scanning is alot better on the pc version, you don’t have to move a slow cursor with a stick, you spin the planet with your mouse the way you’d spin a globe, it’s much faster.
Towards the end of the game, where things get really hectic, the 360’s framerate stutters quite a bit.
The Ugly – How unexpectedly cracked out I got with this game….there were times where 2, 3, even 4 hrs. of time would pass by while playing.
Finally, the long awaited end to the trilogy is here….how’s it hold up for me? 10/10….yeah I said it, deal with it.
The Good – Let me get this outta the way right now, no, this game is not perfect, nor is any game. The problem is, a lot of cats assume a 10 means just that, to them, I say grow up. Since no game is perfect, then what’s the point of the 10 score? I’m going go with how great I thought my experience was, however flawed it can be.
Continuing the Greek mythology themed story, God of War III picks right up where II left off….I would go into some story details, but my partner-n-crime is just about finishing II and I can’t go spoiling it for the homie. I will say this though, the first level in III has got to be one of the best first levels I’ve ever played, it couldn’t have left a better impression on me. Kratos is still the butt kicking spartan out for revenge, letting nothing stand in his way. The graphics are outstanding, definitely up there with games like Gears of War 2 and Uncharted 2. The way the camera swings in, out, and all about, all in real time without the action missing a beat….impressive indeed. This game sets a new standard for scale in boss fights, there are times where Kratos isn’t but a spot on the screen in comparison to what’s going on around him.
The gameplay sticks to the ‘if ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ formula. But they do add some very welcome tweaks and changes. The hack-n-slash fighting remains smooth, responsive, and as rewarding as ever. New moves, new ways of handling weapon switching with magic associated with said weapon, item use, etc, are awesome additions. I’ve always liked the GoW puzzles, but sometimes they took too long to figure out, everything flows much quicker, pushing blocks(or whatever) gets a speed boost, and rotating stuff is a lot more streamlined, just hit the R stick and Kratos quickly spins stuff himself. Fights are more epic, levels are incredibly huge, everything is just done better. I was also very satisfied with the outcome, though it may not be for everyone. In the end, for me, this is the cream of the crop for action games.
The Bad – If God of War 1 & 2 weren’t your cup of tea, then I don’t know why you’re reading this. This game won’t change your mind unless you REALLY like awesome graphics. There’s a couple of levels that don’t really match up with the insanity and impressiveness of the rest of the game.
The Ugly – Oh jeez, I can go anywhere with this….Kratos is on a mission to kill gods, and it wouldn’t be God of War if he wasn’t getting his way. The way he dispatches some of these guys, really push the gore factor in gaming.
This be the long awaited PS3 exclusive from developer Quantic Dream. The follow up to their awesome Indigo Prophecy(Fahrenheit in the UK), this follows a much different story. One that I enjoyed immensely, 8/10.
The Good – Something…different. This isn’t your traditional game, in fact, I think it’s hard to explain the gameplay and make it sound exciting. That’s because the actual gameplay isn’t, it’s the story, the situations, the conflicts that your characters run into that make it exciting. This is more like what used to be the dream of what interactive movies were to be. One of the first trophies you unlock is called “Interactive Drama”, if that’s any indication.
What we have goin on, is a murder mystery. A murderer known as the ‘Origami Killer’ is on the loose. The game switches you up between four characters, all dealing with their own situations, but ultimately tied together by this killer. You’ll have to spend time with your son as a father, or pick up a lead as a private detective, or investigate clues as an FBI agent, etc. It’s the mundane things they make you do that’s somehow entertaining, yet make you really connect on an emotional level with everyone. And sometimes, you’re thrown into action packed scenes that are thrilling and tense. These scenes act like quicktime events, but they’re so much better, if you miss a move or two, it’s not game over, the scene adapts to what you’re doing. Another awesome thing, the game is always taking note of your decisions, making big or small changes to the outcome depending on what you do. Different players can potentially have different takes on the story because of their choices. There’s some really cool stuff going on here and has been a hell of a gaming experience.
The Bad – Heavy Rain was made by a french based developer, as such they used a bunch of french voice actors and it shows. English dialog with french accents that can’t help but break through sound a little off sometimes. The gameplay takes a bit of getting used to, particularly when you have to move characters around. It can be awkward and sometimes you wrestle to move them in the direction you want.
The Ugly – There’s a scene, I swear, could be straight out of a Saw movie…it’s intense, unnerving, and I had to give the game a break after I did it.
I know I know….dang Rich, you sure are doing alot of DLC reviews instead of full game reviews lately. Ever since I got back into the 360 mod scene I’ve been playing mucho games, just not enough time to finish them. Anyway, Sony gave away the first Heavy Rain DLC to the cats who pre-ordered the game. I really dig Heavy Rain so I’m taking my time with it and a review will come soon. Here’s my thoughts on Heavy Rain Chonicles 1:The Taxidermist. 8/10
The Good – This chapter pits you into one of the main character’s shoes. I’m not sure whether to assume it takes place before the main game or not. Anyway, she’s a news reporter, your assignment is to interview someone who’s a prime suspect in the Origami Murders, the major key to Heavy Rain’s plot line. No one’s home, so you do a little breaking in to do some “research”….what ensues are some of the creepiest, tense, edge of my seat moments that I’ve had in all of gaming. For 5 bux, it’s a little pricey, but what an experience I had. I could describe more of what happens, but it would take away from the mystery, tension, and in the end, fun, that I had going through this. If you’re REALLY into Heavy Rain, which I am, it’s definitely worth it.
The Bad – My first time through, it took me maybe 20 mins., which is pretty short. This can be completed in less time than that. But you might wanna go back and see the different outcomes.
The Ugly – The demo for Heavy Rain is a lot longer. Well, a demo is supposed to make you want the game….but still, kinda lame.
Here you get to play through what was just a flashback for Chris in the main game. Being a huge Resident Evil fan, I’ve always maintained that I really liked RE5, but didn’t love it. Upon reflection though, it was a damn fine game once you got over the flaws. At 5 bux and available for the platforms that RE5 showed up on(not sure about the PC version though), this DLC is totally worth it and warrants a 9/10 from the double R.
The Good – The setting takes you back to a mansion that’s very reminiscent of the one in the first game. Except with all the modern audio/visual upgrades introduced in RE5, and man, this is still one damn fine looking game. Very impressive. You get teamed up with Jill again, giving you a welcome throwback feeling. The zombies make a brief appearance bringing some awesome jump scares. Speaking of scares, while the main game was pretty much devoid of any creepiness, this DLC brings the creepy back, and it’s good. My first time through, it took me just over an hour to complete. Once you know what to do, or if you’re an expert, it’ll probably take you a half hour.
The Bad – You can’t save your game….WTF?!?…yeah I know it’s short, but sometimes you gotta turn off the game man. If I’m taking my time and I’m a half hour in, I don’t wanna have to do it again later….which did happen to me. Whatever RE5 issues you’ve had, controls or whatever, won’t be any different here.
The Ugly – Man, I wish all of RE5 was like this….I had a good time, it was creepy, gorgeous, and made me miss the days when you can easily find a creepy game.
Assassin’s Creed 2 was one of my favorite games of ’09. There’s more than enough game there, so DLC really isn’t necessary, but there were a couple ‘memory chapters’ in the game that went ‘corrupted’ if you get the ‘Animus’ lingo. Word around the campfire is that the devs couldn’t polish up these chapters in time for the game’s release, therefore, with the power of the internet, we can get them later. The 1st one just came out on Xbox Live and the PSN, it’s 4 bux for an hour of so of gameplay…not too bad. The Raw rating, 7/10.
The Good – In case you couldn’t get enough AC2, here’s a little more. If you like the fight system, then there’s plenty of that to do here. One mission had me timed, I was able to pull it off with 3 seconds left on the clock…while it really shouldn’t have taken me that long, it was quite thrilling to pull it off in such fashion. A character that you’re briefly introduced to in the main game gets to be fleshed out here, and she’s an awesome character at that. The main game had only one flying mission, once you were done you couldn’t do it anymore, with Battle of Forli, you have the option to freefly from a spot anytime you want. Overall, pretty worth it if you’re a big AC2 fan.
The Bad – Even if you are a big AC2 fan, you’re not missing alot by skipping this…as I said, it’s worth it, but…no mind blowing revelations or anything like that. Nothing particularly new to do….and just in case you’re not a fan of the fighting system, then you really want to stay away from this. It’s only like an hour long, and ends pretty abruptly, leaving us hanging till next month for the next chapter. Once you finish the missions, you can’t go back and play them again.
The Ugly – Me, stumbling with the controls trying get my bearings….while I got pretty good at the game, I finished it what, a month and a half ago? I went back to the training grounds just get smooth at it again.
Yeah I just attempted to do “for the wii” and put into “make me sickey”. It didn’t really look as great as it sounds in my head but I’m going to roll with it anyways. Flat out. This game sucks in every way imaginable. It attempts to do “new” things without doing (what little is new) well. Imagining is not new.For me, next to Hellgate London this game ranks as one of the WORST games I’ve ever played.
Good: This is my first review where I will put nothing. There is no good.
Bad: This game is almost piece meal from Mario Brothers DS and I wasn’t exactly blown away by MBDS. The previous game did have fun elements. So much so that I cant remember a single thing about THAT game. So the wii’s graphics’s aside, our bitch of that is stupid at this point you cant not expect it to look bad when you know it always will. There’s an annoying desert board where you’re compelled to use the mario-helicopter suit but it occurs so jaggedly that you end up dieing more often. Not even the time tested ‘wait’ and go slow method to mario works. Just race through and pray to god one out of the 100 attempts works. Now imagine the first 3 boards comprising just that. I wont even mention the penguin suit. I WONT even mention that. That’s where I rage quit. Because you know what. I’ve played this game before (MBDS) and rage quit on that game too. And I also played it ANOTHER time SM3. And ANOTHER time before that SM1. I’m not 12 anymore and coming back and playing the 18 year old game “idea” is not worth the 49.99 that ANYONE should spend. F you for literally just redoing this game for the wii’s amazing graphics and adding the next thing..multiplayer which belongs in it’s own section.
Ugly: Multiplayer. This game was billed as your FIRST mario experience that you can share. Great right? I love mario, you loved mario, we can have a Mario Party that’s not silly throwing apples in a basket or chopping up carrots. Wrong. You know those wait 10 seconds to jump to get that 1.5 second jump window opportunity while then having to simultaneously jump to the NEXT ledge? Yeah I know them, you know them. Now imagine doing that WITH someone at the same time and having the ability to kill them in the process by jumping on their head thus negating any co-op jump. It’s f’n stupid. Lets not even talk about boss fights because I just lost a inch on my hairline thinking about it.
Finally, a new hat in the music game genre. Results are generally good, if not difficult, but hey….I couldn’t play Guitar Hero at first either, now I can do consistent 5’s on hard mode. Anyways, some thoughts on whether or not this fulfills my childhood fantasy of being a DJ :-p It’s available on the Xbox360, PS3, PS2 and the Wii. This gets an 8/10 from me.
The Good – DJ music game that comes with a turntable controller. If you’re familiar with Guitar Hero/Rock Band, some things will be a bit familiar. Such as a flowing note chart in which you have to hit the right button to the music to succeed, hoping to get 5 stars by the end of the song. What’s new here, well all of the music are mashups, a combination of 2 tracks premixed and tweaked for a club sound. Not my favorite, but it works and sounds really well in this case. The music spans all types of genres, from hip-hop to dance to rock to pop, there’s bound to be something for everyone. There’s 3 buttons on the turntable, hit the right one to the tune, sometimes you gotta scratch, and on harder modes, crossfade between tracks. There’s the starpower equivalent, Euphoria, which of course doubles your points for a limited amount of time, and other features that keep you motivated during play. Once you get the hang of things you get the cool sensation of rockin the party and it’s a ton of fun. There’s a ton of mixes, a bunch of unlockables and just an all around fun atmosphere.
The Bad – This just feels like it’ll be harder than GH/RB for some people. Not all the tracks are winners, it would’ve been nice if all the songs were accessible instead of having to unlock them. Getting the hang of crossfading is reeeaaallly tough, luckily I’m not dealing with that yet since I’m stickin with easy mode at the moment. The turntable and crossfader portion are physically a little too close for me, I’m a big dude, adjustable width should’ve been part of the controller design. Find something to lay the controller on, keeping it in your lap can be pretty uncomfortable. I was hoping for a freestyle scratching mode, but nope, deal with the songs included. There’s some lost potential there.
The Ugly – Some of the characters, they’re similar to the Guitar Hero look….we’ve said on the podcast, we like the look of the Rock Band folk a lot more.
Anybody familiar with us knows that I’m a Silent Hill geek of epic proportions. Looking forward to this Wii “re imagining” for so long….pains me…for I just did not love this game. It’s out on Wii now, and soon will be on the PS2 and PSP. My rating, a disheartening 6/10.
The Good – I would’ve given this game a number score lower, but it’s twist ending I felt, was really cool. Okay, first off, the graphics, look really nice for a Wii game. I’m simply not used to high quality textures on wii, but here, things are nicely detailed and still look good close up. Audio is generally pretty sharp and of high quality as well.
There’s a psychological aspect to the game which is new and interesting. Depending on answers you give to questions posed to you, and actions you take, will reshape parts of the game and the looks of some characters. A staple of Silent Hill, when things turn into the “Otherworld”, which was usually a hellish version of where you were before, is now about being cold and encased with ice. The effect happens in realtime and looks impressive.
Lots of wii specific controls might get the wii diehard giddy with excitement(notice I said ‘might’). You carry a flashlight through the whole game, and yup, you guessed it, the wiimote acts as said flashlight. There’s a pretty creative cellphone mechanic that compliments the wiimote nicely as well, phone calls and sounds come through the wiimote speaker adding to the atmosphere. Opening locks, turning things, etc, etc are all done with wii motions in the ways you’d expect them to work. More interesting immersion. Overall, there are a lot of interesting ideas in this game.
Anybody notice I keep saying “interesting”? Hmmmm…
The Bad – The Silent Hill fanboy in me is getting ready to unload in 3…2…1……man, why the hell did they even bother calling this game “Silent Hill”?!? It’s supposed to be a remake/re imagining or whatever and about the only thing that carries over are character names and the most basic premise of the 1st game. SH is all about being scary and giving you a constant feeling of dread, which is almost totally missing in this game, save for maybe 30-40mins(out of maybe 6hrs of play) total that was actually creepy. Good god, could a game be more mundane?
SH always had cool puzzles here and there, here’s what amounts to your average puzzle here…say you’re looking for a key. Oh look, 3 cans sitting over here, shake each one up with the wiimote…*gasp* one jingles, turn it upside down and the key falls out, yay me. Exploration was always a staple, fear of what may be around the corner, music and sounds adding to the fear. Not in this game, it’s quiet…safe, not too much in the way of creepy sounds. Enemies are 100% eliminated in favor of the “Nightmare” sequences.
Now SH isn’t exactly known for good battling mechanics, they were just enough to get you by, and the ‘hey, you can die’ factor adds to the scaryness of it all. So it wasn’t the worst idea that combat is totally thrown out in this game. But with these “nightmare” sequences, which was scary the 1st time I tried it, then the 2nd time after I died….it quickly became one of the most annoying, trying and just plain badly executed functions of a game. Ok, the world changes, monsters come, your only defense is to run…..through a series of doors….which happens to be a maze….and is incredibly easy to continue running in circles….monsters grab you, you have to shake the wiimote in the direction their holding on to shake them off, which doesn’t work right a good third of the time….say you wanna follow the X that’s on the map on your cellphone, which the character pulls up and puts away reaaaallllyy slowly, giving monsters plenty of time to grab you again. Ok, sometimes you find a flare that keeps the monsters at bay, you can’t hold the flare and check your map at the same time. Sometimes there’s things you can knock over to slow monsters down, problem is, they slow YOU down more than anything. There’s probably half a dozen or so of these sequences throughout the game, they’re all pretty much the same….and for the most part, if you couldn’t tell by my enthusiasm, THEY BREAK THE GAME.
The storyline, while interesting, doesn’t hold a candle to the original or any other one after….it’s simplified beyond belief. Once you’re done and over the cool twist ending, you realize the supernatural aspect of everything is pretty much non existant. It kills me how unSilent Hill this game is. It’s a shame too, because there’s alot of good ideas at play here, just whatever happens to be bad….is REALLY bad.
The Ugly – The b**chin that went on in my room as I died like 10x on the 2nd nightmare sequence….you eventually get the hang of it, but they still suck.
Ubisoft gets it right, here’s for my review of one of my favorite crack addictive games of the year. Available for the Xbox360, PS3, and sometime next spring for the PC. I give this game a well deserved 9/10.
The Good – So Ubisoft took what was a solid engine built to be the first title and made a real game out of it. What ever do I mean? Well, part 1 had a fairly nice graphics engine, cool premise, huge open world, and probably one of the best climbing mechanics I’ve seen in a game. Problem? There were like 3 or 4 objectives that you could only do and once the novelty of playing as an assassin, scaling roofs and whatnot got old….there simply wasn’t much game there, repetition was the worst enemy of that game.
Fast forward 2 years, we have the sequel, which has you playing in Italian Renaissance times. You’re a guy in the present, in a machine, tapping into the memories of one of your ancestors who happens to be in a lineage of assassins. You’ll spend most of your time as Ezio, who dons a hood and cloak much like Altair in the 1st game, but much more stylish of course. Not only that, Ezio is way more interesting, his storyline in drawn out with interesting turns that really make you give a damn. Once you’re built up to full assassin status, it’s straight bad-assery here on out.
Just about all the problems most people had with the first game are fixed here. The cities are interesting and bubbling with life, there’s ton of missions/objectives to do…not only are they not repetitive, they’re pretty fun to do. It’s one of those games that’ll have you going, “just one more mission”. You can change and upgrade your weapons load out now, along with armor, and even change your look by going to tailors and have them dye your gear. It really taps into that vanity of games some of us just get sucked into.
Of course the big stars of the show, the climbing and actual assassinating. Climbing feels pretty much the same as I remember, which is fun and dynamic as Ezio grabs whatever’s nearby to maneuver. That system still works pretty well. Fighting I feel is improved, it’s easy to get down the rhythm of things, and complex enough that you might not even do half the moves unless you take the time to learn them. And the assassinations are as satisfying as ever, you get plenty of different ways of dispatching your enemies. It’s easy to get out of ‘notorious’ status to resume operations, unlike the first game. So you’re not always on edge, the game wants you to have fun.
Finally, there’s fast travel….no more riding horses for 10mins. at a time and worrying about getting attacked. Overall the game is pretty forgiving in it’s difficulty but challenging enough to still be really fun. Lots of hidden stuff keeps you coming back for more. Long review here I know, but hey, the game’s great and it’s huge and the campaign is really long, I’m only scratching the surface.
The Bad – As solid as the controls are, there are times where Ezio will make a jump or turn where you just didn’t want to. As you learn how to perfect the controls, you’ll see most of that is your own fault, but it shouldn’t be so easy to screw up. Minor beef there, hopefully will be fixed with the next game. The flying that was made so much as a big thing this past E3, is only present for one mission, that’s disappointing.
The Ugly – Trying to remember what actually happened in the ending…..man, they take such a left turn and try to cram so much info is so little time it’s insane. It’s like taking a person who got sucked into the 1st season of Lost, then flipping the script being like “you know they’re gonna be time traveling 4 seasons from now right?” Totally caps your head up.
Here’s what’s probably the biggest release of the year. I can’t remember the last time a game sold 5 million copies on it’s 1st day of release….dang. How do those guys sleep at night….probably on mattresses of money 🙂 Anyways, I’ll be reviewing the single player campaign, which gets a 9/10 from me. I played through the 360 version but the game is also available on the PC and PS3 as well.
The Good – Like the last Modern Warfare game, this is top notch first person shooter action. The action here is simply explosive, think of the good summer blockbuster movies out there, take their most exciting parts experienced over the length of a game and that’s what you got here. The story picks up 5 yrs. later, and keeping form you play as a few different characters throughout, all tied to the big picture at hand. Which obviously has to do with war, deception, and sometimes just downright insanity. The feeling from fighting in the streets in a random suburb of America is just crazy. It’s fun, exciting, over the top cinematic style is not something you see performed consistently in alot of games. It’s pulled off here with panache.
The graphics are some of the best this console generation, all moving at a fast, silky smooth framerate. I feel the campaign is a good deal longer than the 1st game, I’d say it’s just right. There’s a ridiculous amount of ‘holy crap’ moments, to the point where I would just need a break cuz my nerves would be rattled. The gameplay feels great, controls are tight and feel just right. There’s a crap-ton of different guns everywhere at any given time. Being taken to all kinds of different locales gives every level a distinct feel. The action changes up sometimes with short vehicle sequences that keep you charged. This game’s a good substitute for Red Bull 🙂 Highly recommended.
The Bad – There’s a few parts in the game, I can think of maybe 3-4, where things just get ridiculously difficult. I played on regular, which is the game’s normal difficulty, and just couldn’t understand why it was so tough to get through these few parts. Except in the Rio de Janiero level, getting killed by guys standing on the roofs of shacks is just annoying when you don’t notice them at first. I spoke with our friend Jack, the super hardcore mouse/keyboard PC shooter guy, and he had the same issues on the same sections playing on PC. A little more tweaking on those few portions would’ve made the campaign almost perfect. While the story is really good, narrative needs a little work. Sometimes the plot gets a little confusing when the game switches up the characters you’re playing as.
The Ugly – It’s pretty obvious, anybody who knows the game enough knows about the controversy with the “No Russian” level. It’s dark, grim and uncomfortable. You have the option to not play it at all, but it works in the context of the story. It isn’t till near the end where it kinda makes sense for the devs to make you feel this way at this part in the storyline.